UConn implementing new guidelines ahead of speaking events - WFSB 3 Connecticut

UConn implementing new guidelines ahead of speaking events

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UConn officials are reviewing their event protocol's after controversial conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich was arrested last week (WFSB) UConn officials are reviewing their event protocol's after controversial conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich was arrested last week (WFSB)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -

Leaders at the University of Connecticut said they are trying to take steps to make sure the violence that erupted after a controversial speech on campus last week never happens again.

The university has implemented new guidelines for some speaking events, and UConn leaders say they are simply creating a review process for events that could present a safety risk. 

Many students support the guidelines but some fear it could impact free speech.

UConn students say they won't forget last week’s melee that sparked when controversial conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich put his hands on a woman who grabbed his speech.

Wintrich was arrested and some say the school was embarrassed.

Now school leaders are taking steps to prevent something like this from happening again. 

Uconn's president announced that in the future there will be an event review for any speech or event that could present a safety risk.

“I think it's a smart idea just to like keep that from happening again. That was hate speech that wasn't free speech,” said Jolene Addi, who is a freshman at UConn.

The event review will include access planning and controls including a guest list and bag checks, required security planning between students, university leaders, and security including planning a response plan for disruption, as well as pre-planning outreach to coordinate counter-protest interest. 

Most students said they think the guidelines are a good idea.

“They have to put the safety of students first. Because having someone like that and the protest got out of hand,” said Tina Isola, a senior at UConn.

“I think the university should definitely take into consideration who comes to our university and presents what they are talking about,” said Dustin Corriveau, a senior at UConn.

“I feel like there should be not a lot of limits, but just maybe controlling what people are going to say because it can really offend people,” said freshman Shavonne Lacey.

Others worry the guidelines could stifle free speech by making it more difficult for people with unpopular viewpoints to address students.

“We are all here to learn and meet people from all over and they have different opinions so I think everyone should be allowed to have their say,” said Zack Cosgrove.

Students said they feel the implementation of the guidelines will be key, and they hope the entire campus community can use this unfortunate memory as a teaching moment.

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